ProPresenter + ProVideoPlayer 3 Week Followup

Well we’ve been using ProPresenter and ProVideoPlayer for 3 weekends now. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and impressions from myself and some of our volunteers. + means it’s good – means it’s bad. No particular order. It’s all a mind dump today.

+ Training my volunteers has been quick. They were very comfortable with Easy Worship but have picked up ProPresenter quickly. It’s a lot of the same principles just different methods. I gave most of them a 15 minute crash course and let them go. After 1 practice they were all feeling very comfortable with the program. A few of them have asked me why we didn’t make the switch sooner.
+ ProPresenter is much more responsive than Easy Worship was. This could be the program or the hardware or a combination of both. But it allows us to put less text on each slide because we can change slides quicker.
+ Quick Edit to edit slides is so much simpler and quicker than EW.
+ Copying text into a new presentation is quicker and more reliable than EW was.
– Video playback of foreground elements. For the most part playback of service videos seemed like the video was a little jerky. The audio played back smooth but it just seemed like the motion itself was a little jerky compared to a DVD. Colors were also de-saturated
+ Playback of video through firewire to a DA box produced smooth motion and accurate color.
– When you choose to play video back through firewire it also plays back foreground graphics (our sermon slides) through the firewire. This meant I had to resize my graphics down to 720×480 only to be scaled back up by our scaler. I chose to keep our video playback from DVD.
+ We have a preservice video that plays before service. It’s mainly a copy of what is running on our digital signage system. ProPresenter allows me to link foreground elements together. (play this clip then go to this clip then loop back to the beginning).

ProVideoPlayer has been solid and I’ve been very pleased with it.

I do have a hard time coordinating our backgrounds. I try to choose 2 backgrounds that are similar yet different so not to draw too much attention to the fact that the plasmas are so much brighter than our projectors. I think I might have to start creating custom clips or modifying the color in After Effects. At least for the clips in ProPresenter.

I do have some questions I need to contact Renewed Vision about. They are mainly about the module that allows ProPresenter and PVP to talk to each other.
-Is there an order the programs are supposed to be launched in?
-What does the option “Enable Visual Adjustments” in the network module for ProPresenter mean?

That’s all for now…

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November 8, 2007. Tech Stuff.

6 Comments

  1. Brent replied:

    Can you play back DVD’s thru the program? Also what kind of system are you running on? I demoed it about 3 months ago on a dual g5 2.0 with 1.5 gigs of ram, and it wasn’t super smooth, but that system may just need a wipe.

    I also noticed that many mac-based presentor programs freeze the video before it transitions to a new video. Does it keep playing the video as it transitions?

    I am hoping to install leapord soon on the g5 and try this program again on a clean computer.

  2. Dave replied:

    Hey Brent,
    Currently you can’t play DVDs back through either ProPresenter or ProVideoPlayer. I have been told by Renewed Vision that there is an update in the pipeline that will add DVD playback and scripture lookup. I like playing my DVDs back off a DVD player. It’s very reliable and I think presentation programs tend to de-saturate the video when they scale it.

    ProPresenter is running on a new iMac. It’s the base model 2.0 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB Ram, 250 GB HD, ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT video card with 128 MB. There was a problem a few months ago with a version of quicktime that was causing jerky video playback and a pause in video loops. It has since been resolved.

    Transitions are smooth on my macs. Video plays through the transition without a pause. I have my transitions set at .5 seconds so it’s real quick. But I’ve slowed it down just to check it.

    I’m still running 10.4.10. I have the leopard disks sitting on the shelf. I’m not super eager to jump on board yet.

  3. Brent replied:

    well, when I wipe my dual g5 I will give it a try again. I have all the updates but all the presentation programs in Tiger are jerking during video transitions. Hopefully it’s just a conflict somewhere.

  4. Dave replied:

    Brent,
    Your comment got me to pay closer attention to some stuff. When I said it transitioned smoothly I tested it at home. I was using my MacBookPro (Dual 2.4 Ghz, 4GB Ram, 256 MB Graphics Card) and just watching the preview window. No external display was attached. That is where I saw the smooth transitions.

    So at church today I was loading up the media and selecting backgrounds for the weekend services. I noticed that ProPresenter on the iMac hesitates slightly when changing backgrounds. There is a slight pause when you choose a new background and then the video continues to play through the transition. I didn’t run my MBP through the switcher to see if it would do it too. But I might try.

    For us, we don’t make that many background transitions. We usually have it set to .5 seconds so it’s real quick and we transition at natural times to the transition on the screen is not the focus.

  5. Dave replied:

    Brent,
    I’ve done some more digging in the video transitions. We just added some HD clips. The HD clips are more sluggish, don’t transition as smoothly. But SD stuff does just fine. So the codex of your clips makes a huge difference.

  6. steve replied:

    ProPresenter now supports DVD playback. YOu can even set in and out points to play back clips.

    Pro also has true cross dissolves–no pausing of one video and playing another.

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